XX99 9XX

Dear Sainsburys,

For much of my life, I have lived within a few miles of one of your stores. You may feel that this is a successful vindication of your rapid expansion during the 1980s, but personally I have always found it something akin to a curse. I realise that, being a single male still fortunate enough to be able to ignore the nappy and baby food aisles, I am not one of the domestic matriarchs or extended families whom you prefer to target, but one does expect certain concessions even if that rarely includes the attention of your packers.

As a customer of long standing, much consumed produce and a modest amount of reward points, I therefore feel the time has come for me to put the following question to you:

Are you deliberately trying to wind me up??!

Almost every week, I trip along to my local Sainsburys to restock my grocery cupboards. And each time, I seem to return home with less than I bought the previous week. Why is this? Not,as you may initially think, because I am a slow eater or unable to lift heavy bags. No, it's because every week, I find that Sainsburys have stopped selling something I normally buy. So far, the list of foods I have loved and lost includes:

I mean, what's the deal here? Do you use my weekly receipts as a list of products not to be re-ordered? Is this my Reward? Don't tell me that these goods simply aren't available anymore, because I continue to see them on the shelves of other, better but more distant stores. I hesitate to mention it, lest it excites your interest, but do you have plans to discontinue that Jaffa and chocolate flavoured Fiorentina ice cream stuff? You do, don't you? You've just spotted it on my last ten receipts and now you're all ready to phone the suppliers and cancel next week's order. You unfeeling sods.

Is this part of some master plan, to put all the other supermarket chains out of business and then concentrate solely on selling bread and milk to a docile, starving population? That idea eventually failed in Russia, you know.

Worse, you now appear to be redesigning your packaging with the intention of maiming customers. What kind of improvement are these new ring pulls on all your cans supposed to represent? My girlfriend cut her finger while opening some tomatoes the other week. At least you still sold Jif, so I could clean the blood up. I wouldn't mind if one could lift the ring pull up without breaking nails. You know what I use to lever the damned thing up? The handle of a can opener. There, that's progress, isn't it. What next, a metal spike that shoots out and impales the incautious consumer? I can't help feeling that this is a sales strategy with diminishing returns.

Please, if I have to keep shopping at Sainsburys (where "Good food costs less" - if you can find any), at least try to maintain your product range. Friday nights are not enlivened by special offers on 5kg bags of frozen peas; they demand modest quantities of tasty junk food and, with any luck, a large tub of Fiorentina and a willing partner. Preferably easy to open (the ice cream, that is).

I thank you for your attention and trust that you will take my comments into consideration.

Yours faithfully,


A. J. Rixon

PS. Official England World Cup Supermarket? I guess I'd better check that none of the stuff I buy is imported from Argentina. Doesn't Alan Shearer like lemon butter kievs?

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